John “Bernard” Dahl, 93 of Billings died Nov. 21, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
Bernard was born Feb. 28, 1925, in Rhame, North Dakota, to Danish immigrant Emil and Irish homesteader Alice (Kane) Dahl.
Bernard was the youngest of five children. Bernard and his family spent his early years in Rhame and moved to Bozeman in 1939. He graduated from Holy Rosary High School. He was one of four siblings who served in the U.S. military in World War II. His gold star mother Alice christened the USS Bozeman. His brother staff sergeant Raymond was shot down over Germany and killed in 1941. His brother Eldon was a prisoner of war In Italy. Sister Mary served in the Pacific at Iwo Jima.
Dahl was a graduate of Columbia University Midshipman School in New York City. He was a three-year veteran of World War II, having served as a gunnery officer on the USS Tumult minesweeper in the Pacific. He was a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Naval Reserve.
After WWII, he attended Carroll College, Marquette University and Montana State. He had degrees in biology and bacteriology.
On July 6, 1950, he married Mary M’Lis Eaton and moved to San Francisco for Mortuary Science college. He then returned to the family funeral business in Bozeman and had Mary (Mike Cater); Teresa (Conrad Stroebe); and Ann Denise. They moved to Helena and had Linda (Dale Reinhart). They established Dahl Funeral Chapel in Billings in 1956.
In Billings, they had their first and only son John (Brenda). He was followed by Anita (Reese Jones); Irene (Mark Peterson) and Deana (Dave Wendell).
Bernard was a member of Holy Rosary Church and St Patrick’s Co-Cathedral. He was a Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. His faith was precious to him and an example to his family and friends.
As a funeral director, he was a member of the order of the Golden Rule and National Funeral Directors Association and past president of the Montana Funeral Directors Association. He served as county coroner. He was President of the Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved.
His life’s work was compassionately caring for families in bereavement. He was on the board of hospice and brought many nationally known grief specialists to Billings. His deep care and commitment to families evolved into grief ministries including Stephen Ministries, Association of Christian Therapists and Hospice.
Bernard’s favorite hobbies included photography, travel, cooking, camping and snowmobiling.
He loved presenting slide shows on the Holy Land to churches and schools. He loved taking visitors and family out on his pontoon boat on the Big Horn.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings: Eldon, Vera Jensen, Raymond and Mary Jorgensen; and two grandchildren: Marion Rose Stroebe and Simon Dahl Reinhart.
Bernard was so grateful for his wife M’Lis, of 68 years, his eight children, 24 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren:
Mary (Mike) Cater and their family: Sara (Zach) Clark and children (Maya, Nora, Caleb); Joseph (Kristen) Cater and kids (Jane, Alice, Thomas);
Teresa (Conrad) Stroebe and children: Marie Taylor and kids (River, Cash); Raymond Stroebe and children (Brianna, Erica, James, Spencer); Beth (Justin) Gress and children (Lincoln, Miles); Emily (Brian) Edwards; Frank Stroebe; Marion Rose; Genevieve Burhans and child (Elise); Hannah (Travis) Hutchinson; Chalice Stroebe; and Xavier Stroebe;
Ann Denise Dahl and children: Holland Davis, Jens (Bridgett) Davis and child (Porter);
Linda (Dale) Reinhart and kids: Michele (Bill) Levine and children (Kate, Grace); Simon; and Sean;
John (Brenda) Dahl;
Anita (Reece) Jones and kids: Dan; Brielle (Earl) Platt and child (Sienna); Erin (Richard) Hall and child (Braeden Bernard); Marina; and Ula;
Irene (Mark Peterson) Dahl;
Deana (Dave Wendell) Dahl and children (Eileen and John).
Visitation will be held 1 p.m., to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday at Dahl Funeral Chapel in Billings.
A vigil service will be held at 6 p.m., on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, at Dahl Funeral Chapel in Billings. The funeral mass will be held at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, at St. Patrick’s Co-Cathedral.
The graveside committal service will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. (Please meet at Dahl Funeral and Cremation Service in Bozeman at 10:30 a.m., to process together to the cemetery.)
Memorials may be made in Bernard’s name to St. Vincent De Paul, 3005 First Ave. North, Billings, MT 59101 or the Alice Kane Dahl Nursing Scholarship at Montana State University, c/o the MSU Foundation, 1501 S. 11th Ave, Bozeman, MT 59717.